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The Best Free Summer Concerts in New Jersey

The latest update for Free Summer Concerts in New Jersey is written by Lindsay Podolak.

The long, lazy days of summer are just around the corner. What better way to soak in summer evenings than enjoying live music under the starry sky? There are many concert series taking place throughout New Jersey during the summer months and cover a variety of musical genres, from rock tribute bands to country and blues.

The best part about these concerts–they’re all free! And many of the concert venues offer picnic areas and food vendors, so bring a blanket and make a night of it at these free New Jersey summer concerts.

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North Jersey

summer concerts

Morris Township Summer Concert Series

Where: Ginty Field Gazebo, 50 Woodland Avenue, Morris Township
When: Tuesday nights (June 18 to August 13) at 7:00 pm
Details: The 12th season of Morris Township’s free summer concerts kicks off on June 18 with country duo October Rose. Bring a lawn chair or a picnic blanket and relax as local musical acts perform outdoors in the gazebo.
Why I like it: Those into a more classical style of music will appreciate the July 23 performance by the Hanover Wind Symphony.
More info: Visit Morris Township Summer Concert Series or call 973-326-7400.

South Orange Summer Nights: Concerts in the Park

Where: Floods Hill, Meadowland Park, 16 Mead Street, South Orange
When: Wednesday nights (July 3 to July 31) from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Details: Floods Hill in South Orange hosts summer concerts by well-known local groups like the Deadful Greats, one of the premier Grateful Dead tribute bands. Grab dinner from local food vendors to snack on during the performance. When the series concludes at the end of July, South Orange’s free movie nights commence.
Why I like it: Art in the Park also takes place on Wednesday evenings at Floods Hill, in case some members of your family would rather create a masterpiece than take in some music.
More info: Visit South Orange Summer Nights or call 973-313-2787.

Central Jersey

summer concerts

Flemington Car Shows

Where: 2 Stangl Road and 44 Stangl Road, Flemington
When: Every other Saturday (May 25 to August 31) from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Details: Love classic cars and live music? Get the best of both worlds, and much more, at this semi-monthly Saturday festival. Local bands perform at two locations on Stangl Road, while a DJ spins classic tunes. Plus, trophies are handed out for cars and kids can partake in face painting, bounce houses, games and balloon sculpting. Take note – the location has moved from last year’s home on Main Street to Stangl Road for the 2019 season.
More info: Visit Flemington Car Shows.

Hunterdon County 43rd Annual Music Under the Stars

Where: Deer Path Park, 120 West Woodschurch Road, Flemington
When: Thursday nights (June 27 to August 15) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Details: Celebrate four decades of local talent at Hunterdon County’s outdoor concert series, taking place on Thursday evenings. Performers range from Hunterdon Symphony, Citigrass and tribute bands that cover Bon Jovi and the Eagles. Take advantage of the venue’s extensive fields and bring along a picnic dinner and lawn games.
Why I like it: This is a family-friendly event, so bring the kids and the dog along, too.
More info: Visit Hunterdon County Parks & Recreation or call 908-782-7275.

2019 Mayor’s Summer Concert Series

Where: Woodbridge High School, Parker Press Park and Tanzman Park in Woodbridge
When: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday nights starting June 24 (see website for detailed schedule)
Details: There’s no shortage of music in Woodbridge–catch free concerts five nights a week all summer long! Enjoy oldies on Mondays, classic rock tributes on Tuesdays, an eclectic selection on Wednesdays, local bands on Thursdays and country music on Sundays. With food vendors and picnic areas throughout the venues, there’s no reason to stay home.
Why I like it: Guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable item to help restock local food pantries, which means it’s a great way to support local arts and help the needy.
More info: Visit Woodbridge Arts or call 732-602-6045.

Somerset County Summer Concert Series

Where: Duke Island Park, Old York Road, Bridgewater
When: Sunday nights (July 7 to August 4) from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Details: Kick back at Duke Island Park and spend Sunday evenings listening to a plethora of musical genres, including classic rock, country, doo wop and pop. Top off the season on August 11 with Somerset County’s 5th Annual Food Truck Fest, featuring performer Andy B., who has recently gone solo from The VooDUDES.
Why I like it: The series kicks off with a special performance on July 4 in North Branch Park, complete with food, music, fireworks and fun.
More info: Visit 2019 Summer Concert Series or call 908-722-1200.

Union County Summer Arts Festival

Where: Echo Lake Park in Mountainside and Oak Ridge Park in Clark
When: Wednesday nights (July 10 to August 28) at 7:30 pm
Details: The Summer Arts Festival kicks off its summer concert series on Friday, June 21 with a performance by New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. All subsequent concerts are held on Wednesdays, either at Echo Lake Park in July or Oak Ridge Park in August. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for an evening picnic in the spacious parks. Food vendors will be available as well.
Why I like it: Get your zen on by participating in the UC Get Fit Community Yoga class, held at 6:30 pm right before the concert. It’s a great way to get healthy with your family before settling in for an evening of music.
More info: Visit Union County New Jersey or call 908-527-4000.

Jersey Shore

summer concerts

Lavallette Summer Concert Series

Where: Lavallette Gazebo, Bay Boulevard, Lavallette
When: Sunday nights (June 30 to September 1) at 7:00 pm
Details: Wind down your weekends each Sunday night with a moonlit serenade under the stars. Strictly Sixties, the Wilbur Wittemann Orchestra and Sentimental Journey, an 18-man big band group, are all on the schedule for the summer.
Why I like it: A Fourth of July concert will be held on July 7, featuring a special start time of 8:00 pm to accommodate a spectacular fireworks display.
More info: Visit Lavallette Summer Concert Series or call 732-793-7477.

Thursdays by the Sea

Where: Festival Plaza in Pier Village, Long Branch
When: Thursday nights (June 13 to August 29) from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Details: Feel the ocean breeze at this Thursday night concert series in Long Branch, held rain or shine. The schedule features favorite Jersey bands such as The Nerds and Brian Kirk & The Jirks. Enjoy a fun evening by the water and catch some great music too!
Why I like it: Unlike some of the other free concert series, Thursdays by the Sea are held rain or shine. If there is inclement weather, the shows are held inside Long Branch Middle School.
More info: Visit Thursdays by the Sea or call 732-222-7000, ext. 5447.

South Jersey

summer concerts

Burlington County Amphitheater Summer Music Series

Where: Burlington County Amphitheater, 5 Pioneer Boulevard, Westampton
When: Friday & Saturday nights (June 28 to August 24) at 7:00 pm
Details: Spend your summer weekend nights immersed in great live music at Burlington County’s Amphitheater. Take in performances from lively groups like The Glimmer Twins, who provide spot-on renditions of classic Rolling Stones songs, and the B Street Band, the original Springsteen tribute band. Arrive early to catch local acoustic musicians performing from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.
Why I like it: Gates open at 4:00 pm so you can show up early and have time to lounge on a blanket or play Frisbee.
More info: Visit Burlington County Division of Parks or call 609-265-5858.

Twilight Concert Series

Where: Cooper River Park, 5300 N. Park Drive, Pennsauken Township
When: Thursday nights (June 13 & 27, July 18 and August 1 & 15) at 8:00 pm
Details: Typically on alternating Thursday nights (see specific dates above), the Twilight Concert Series opens with a special Saturday night performance on June 1. The musical guest? None other than Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Crosby and his Sky Trails Band. Stroll around the lake, watch the boats and take in some exciting entertainment this summer at Cooper River Park.
Why I like it: Camden County offers a host of other summer concert series at various locations; check the schedule online for details.
More info: Visit Twilight Concert Series or call 856-216-2134.

Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Pavel Losevsky/Adobe Stock
Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
SOPAC South Orange Performing Arts Center / Facebook
Hunterdon County / Website
The City of Long Branch, NJ / Facebook
Burlington County Amphitheater / Facebook